Drones are a mining must-have

Reasons why drones are a mining must-have

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If you’re involved in a mining project, you understand the importance of using the right tools for optimal results. When it comes to scoping and mapping, drones (or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as they are officially called) have proven to be a viable and welcome solution. 

Achieving an optimal bird’s-eye-view of a mining site is a challenging task but drones are uniquely suited to the tasks of aerial mapping and scoping. Not only can they be equipped with the latest mapping (as well as tracking and reporting) technology, drone technology brings with it a number of benefits.

Here are our top reasons why drones are the best choice for mining surveying:

1. Reliability: Using the latest in 3D technology, drones are able to accurately render overviews of any terrain, no matter how inaccessible or hazardous. In addition, many drones are capable of transferring those images (and related data) to operators for planning and tracking purposes, in a matter of minutes.

2. Increased speed, reduced costs: As above, using drones for mining surveying saves time and energy, increasing survey speeds and, ultimately, boosting productivity. Cutting down on travel time, drones can scan an area much more quickly (and therefore cost-effectively) than more traditional mapping methods. And, by removing the human element insofar as the actual survey goes, drones offer a fast, effective service. In addition, the low staff numbers needed to operate a drone survey leave human resources free to attend to other, perhaps more pressing, tasks.

3. Lower operational costs. Quite simply, drones are cheaper to operate than traditional surveying equipment. They do not have the maintenance and repair costs of manned aerial vehicles.

4. Reduced downtime: In many cases, such as stack or stockpile inspections, downtime is required for a traditional, on foot survey to take place. Not so in the case of a drone survey which, taking place from an aerial perspective, can save expensive downtime hours.

5. A premium on safety. Safety is of utmost importance on a mining site and surveying mining landscapes, infrastructure, or stockpiles can be a dangerous business. For example, uneven and challenging terrain can result in hazardous working conditions for surveyors travelling on foot. With their mapping abilities and flying capabilities, drones are able to avoid potential hazards and remove a large amount of the risk associated with working on a mining site. This makes them useful for operations such as blasting and means that human surveyors can spend less time on the mining site, facing potential hazards such as cave-ins. 

When it comes to mining surveying and planning, drones are the way of the future. Need a professional drone service provider? DC Geomatics offers total aerial surveying services (including aerial LiDAR and hyperspectral technology surveying services) to the mining sector in South Africa as well as across the continent of Africa, including Zambia, Angola, Namibia, and Tanzania. Our team of experienced surveyors are equipped to generate extremely accurate surveys and maps for all our clients, reducing risk and saving on cost. 

Contact us – we’re experts in mining surveys by drone.

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Issue 42